Thursday, August 5, 2010
To Plot Or Not To Plot
I'm one of those people who loathe wasting time. Even full time writers need to clean house and grocery shop, keep their doctor appointments. So I plan out most of my day but I try and make sure that I have some wiggle room in case something takes more time than I've planned for. I'm careful, but I'm not stuck in one mind-set.
Which is probably why I consider myself a Plotster. I love that euphoric rush when a story idea hits and I'm off and running. I'll have a general idea of where I'm going but it's that old seat of the pants, wing-walking energy that happens at the beginning of each project.
It lasts for about four chapters (or roughly one-quarter of the book, however long that may be). Which, strangely enough usually coincides with the need for the first turning point, you know--when my hero/heroine have to make a pivotal decision to get their party started. My panster party is pretty much over.
Not really, because I do enjoy what I do but the decisions that I make about the who, what, why, when, where and how to take the story forward become the real focus. I know who the characters are by now and have set up the way they will behave and evolve over the course of book.
I then plot in a straight line, from beginning to end but I may write a scene at the beginning that I know I'll need at the end. I simply keep a file of them and copy and paste as needed. My crit partner, Holly, a die-hard panster says this would drive her crazy.
We all have different methods and I don't think there are any wrong ways of creating a story but I'm always interested in any discussion about the process. So authors, how about it--do you have a tried and true method that you swear by or is each book different?
And readers, just so you know that I haven't forgotten you, what makes you love a book? Is it the characters, the plot, the setting you can get lost in?
I ask because someone leaving a comment today will be receiving a download of my latest release, HEAD OVER HEELS:-)